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Comment Re:"closures"? Are you F'ing kidding me? (Score 1) 497

Yes, 100% this. However, we pros learn new things on an almost daily basis, and most have found de-coupling their learning process from other people to be an essential skill in programming. I realize that's far easier said than done, and requires a certain critical mass of knowledge and experience in order to become self-sustaining. I relied on senior people for my own on-the-job training.

BUT, when I was 22, I would never have thrown up my hands and equated mastery of multi-threading to solving P vs. NP. I would much more likely have erred the other way: being overly cocky and assuming I knew better than everyone else what to do. That's also not optimal, but far better than being defeatist, since it drove me to learn independently ("I guess I'm going to have to do this myself!").

Comment "closures"? Are you F'ing kidding me? (Score 4, Insightful) 497

One of the biggest, most vexing problems in computer science is newbies who equate basic programming to the hardest problems of the field.

OK, I realize this is arcane. Let me give an equivalent situation in, let's say, agriculture.

Farmer: "OK, young intern, today we'll learn how to water plants!"
Intern: "Waaaaah! This is as hard as the manipulation of space-time with thought alone!"
Farmer: "...Grab a goddamned watering can, moron."

Comment We're really discussing this? (Score 1) 429

Remember that one time when rats killed off half of Europe? And we're now discussing how best to hug them until they go night-night?

I do believe in compassion for animals. That means we take no pleasure in their deaths, and protect them from suffering beyond what's necessary for our civilization. I buy cage-free eggs, for example. But humanity must have two aspects - a hand of love, and a fist of justice. Rats are up there with mosquitoes in terms of existential threats to us, so isn't it obvious which side of us they should see?

I am lucky enough to have never seen a rat, in person, in my 37 years, and I realize they are probably important in natural ecosystems. But even still, inside of our settlements, no method of dealing with them would feel off-limits to me. When I first read the headline of this story, I assumed the rats were somehow being tricked into eating the dry ice, and later exploding. I thought, "oh, that's clever! I guess that's why it's on Slashdot."

Comment iOS revenues are ~5X Android for us (Score 2) 166

I am part owner of an established startup doing mobile games aimed at kids. The decision to support Android was always a contentious one for us, and after years of beating our heads against that wall, I wish we had never done it.

I won't get into value judgments or rhetoric about openness - the revenue on Android just isn't even faintly close to iOS. Maybe 20 cents on the dollar on a *good* day. But as you might guess, it's taken up a lot more than 20% of our time. This fact is sometimes presented with undertones that iOS developers are just greedy, but it's literally a matter of survival - for us, Android simply cannot sustain a viable business.

As far as ease of development: the other comments capture it pretty well; both platforms have a lot of annoyances that you have to work around. Compared to my background developing server applications on Linux, I find both platforms shamefully bug-ridden and slapped together, but I wouldn't say that one is noticeably worse in the big picture.

Comment OMG Phylum? (Score 2) 112

"The Actinobacteria phylum includes..." OMG I'm scared! Except that biology classification is a bit over-broad...

Let's review what badasses *our* phylum includes:

- The honey badger.
- The Kodiak bear.
- The goddamned T-Rex.
- that Japanese guy who killed bulls with nothing but karate

In a phylum-off, I'm betting on Team Chordata.

Comment Re: FUD (Score 1) 398

No, that doesn't follow. This "toxic employee" thing isn't a big enough problem for anyone to torch their hard-won career by mounting a discrimination lawsuit that's doomed to fail anyway. I clearly said this does not apply to most minority employees, and was merely making the point that such bad behavior *exists,* not that it's prevalent.

Comment Re: FUD (Score 3, Interesting) 398

This is patently *absolutely* true. I, my wife, and my friends have all directly observed this happening, right out in the open. It doesn't happen with all "disadvantaged" employees, but with problem employees who use their political status as a weapon and veiled lawsuit threat against HR.

To be crystal-clear, I and others close to me have explicitly heard sentences of the form "we can't fire him/her; it's not worth the lawsuit," spoken aloud, by decision-makers, clearly as a matter of policy and not as an off-hand crack, more times than can be considered a fluke.

These "poison pill" employees are a minority among minorities, but they definitely exist, and they ruin things for everyone.

Comment It's not just an environmental issue (Score 1) 195

Energy production has impacts all over our culture and economy - it's short-sighted to look only at the (clearly negative) environmental effects. We also need to consider the job and GDP growth that oil can produce, at a time when our economy badly needs it. Then there are the (clearly positive) national and economic security implications of being energy-independent.

This doesn't mean we shouldn't also have a balls-to-the-wall, fully government-assisted race toward cleaner energy. But we're far from being able to rely on that for more than a small fraction of our needs. The R&D and infrastructure upgrades will take decades, and our only usable "bridge" to get there is to continue burning anything that will hold a flame.

Comment Lawyer up, fast. (Score 1) 99

I am part of a small independent app company as well, and we have been on the opposite side of this issue a couple times. It is just as common, particularly on Android, for low-budget teams (often in third-world countries) to purposely build a confusingly similar product in an attempt to make a few bucks before they get shut down. Honest developers face trolls on both sides.

Half our defense is what steps we've taken to work within our awful, awful system of IP law. Copyrights, trademarks, even a couple patents. The other half is maintaining good relationships with Google and Apple, so that when a problem arises, we can appeal to them quickly. I think both have been absolutely essential.

If you have not spent the time and money to build your legal bullshit-shield, you should do so ASAP but be prepared that you may take some heavy losses before the dust settles - your troll has home-turf advantage here.

Comment Re:Who thinks certification is "ironclad"? (Score 1) 296

Good grief, it's a resume point system. It's *supposed* to be over-simplified and callously reduce all the richness of a human being's life efforts to a single, faceless number. Its sole job is to efficiently extract a strong team from a given applicant pool, and do it fast enough to get the best applicants before other companies do, as well as not wrecking the team's productivity interviewing every candidate under the sun. A willingness to search for hidden gems may sound fair-minded, but it doesn't have a good outcome.

And, I hate to say it, since this will likely not help build agreement, but my startup-focused point system also explicitly dings freelancers, as well as former non-military government workers. So, despite your likely objection to this, hopefully you'll grant that the system is at least internally consistent.

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